I would like to respond to several negative comments make by Fairview Township supervisor, Russell Marhold and Stephanie Grubert. Everyone thinks that the Tax Collector makes up rules as her/ she goes along. This is definitely not true. We do not make the issue dates or the Discount, Face and Penalty period dates. We just abide by them.
I have a collections box outside of my home for the occasional emergency for a last minute drop off. I have been posting that “incorrectly written checks will be returned” in large letters on said box. You would not believe the number of incorrect checks there are. People just do not pay attention to the little details of a correctly written check. The checks are either the incorrect amount as in the case of Mr. Barry Jacobs, the checks are not signed or dated or the written amount is incorrect. People do not realize that the bank goes by the written amount on a check and that is not the Tax Collector’s rule but a bank rule.
I was not given the opportunity to defend my actions or to explain myself to the Fairview Township Supervisors. I was just persecuted in the paper. As for Stephnie Grubert’s article in her column, she said I failed to use common sense without even knowing my side. If anything, her comment about Tax Collector theft and sloppy bookkeeping do not apply in this circumstance for I was just following the time line for the Face and Penalty periods that are written on the tax bill. If anything this makes me a more honest Tax Collector by following the guidelines that are set by the County/ Township and School. What makes it right if some drops off a check in a drop off box incorrectly as opposed to someone who realizes that they missed the face period by one day and then automatically sends in the amount for Penalty period without any hesitation?
To put things in some perspective, according to the Pa Tax Collectors Association (yes there is one that we Tax Collectors turn to for guidance) I did nothing illegal in returning an incorrectly written check and Russ Marhold there is no rule that mandates a Tax Collector can accept checks that are either over or under. To me this seems like a poor way to collect taxes. What makes it fair if my check is for the correct amount and Mr. Barry Jacob’s bill is one amount and his check is for another amount? Does this mean that all taxpayers should send in a lesser amount then what the bill says? This to me seems like sloppy bookkeeping! Be careful Supervisors or you may open up a can of worms.
As for Bob Orloski saying the Supervisors are working to prevent this from happening again, I already wrote a letter to the Supervisors saying that as of 2015 I will no longer have the convenience of a drop off box in front of my house but I will have extra collection hours on the last day for each period at the Fairview Township Municipal building. I have a letter stating this by my drop off box and I will again post this next year.
The drop off box was a convenience for the taxpayers and again a few spoiled it for the rest.
Thank you, Maxine Macko,
Fairview Twp. Tax Collector
(Editor’s Note: Macko’s office hours for collection for the 2014 tax season are Tuesdays during discount period from 5:00 p. m. to 7:00 p. m. Checks can be mailed to 68 N Main Street Mountaintop, Pa 18707. This information is on both the County/ Township bills as well as the school tax bills which are issued in August.)